Aim to highlight the need for tolerance worldwide, says Tahir Ahmed, vice-president, Peace Symposium committee
Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has been conducting the Peace Symposium in many major cities in India and has received a great response every timeUpdated: Sep 21, 2019 15:23 IST
Tahir Ahmad Arif, the vice-president of Peace Symposium committee and ex-president of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Pune talks to Hindustan Times about various aspects of the symposium that is being held for the first time in Pune today.
Tell us more about the Peace Symposium.
The aim of the Peace Symposium is to bring together people from diverse walks of life and provide them with a platform to exchange ideas and experiences. We invite leaders and scholars from various fields and faiths to express their ideas particularly on the topic of pluralism and tolerance, thus highlighting the significance and need of tolerance in today’s pluralistic society worldwide that is to say religious, cultural and ideological. The symposium promotes a deeper understanding of Islam and other faiths and seeks to inspire a concerted effort for lasting peace.
How has the symposium been received in other parts of the country?
Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has been conducting the Peace Symposium in many major cities in India and has received a great response every time. We have covered topics such as ‘Justice in an unjust world, the critical need for peace’, ‘Fundamentals of establishing lasting peace’, ‘Global conflicts and the need for justice’ among others. In future, we will continue our efforts on pressing topics to strive for attaining peace at all levels in the society. Ahmadiyya Muslim Community also presents an international award for the advancement of peace, “in recognition of an individual’s or an organisation’s contribution for the advancement of the cause of peace” at the annual award function by our Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba), our spiritual head, the present caliph. The prize was first launched in 2009 by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Peace Prize Committee under the directive of the present caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba). The prize is announced annually at the United Kingdom Annual Convention and is presented the following year at the National Peace Symposium held at our international headquarters in the UK.
What is the community’s future plans in Pune?
We plan to conduct more such events, promoting peace and brotherhood among different sections of society. We have also been involved in charity activities to serve the weaker sections of the society and will continue to do so in future, in Pune and other parts of the country. The only aim is to understand the pain of fellow human beings and to respect human values above everything. Abiding to the motto of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community which is ”Love for All, Hatred for None”.
Speakers at the symposium
Sindhutai Sapkal, social worker and activist
Bhanupratap Barge, assistant commissioner of Pune police, crime branch (Retd)
Shabnam Asthana, director, Empowered Solutions
Ashfaq Ahmad Tahir, president, Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Pune (AMJ)
Haleem Khan Shahid, missionary in-charge, Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Pune (AMJ)
Amit Agrawal, acharya and light bearer, Ananda Sangh
Rajesh Jalnekar, director Vishwakarma Institute of Technology (VIT) college, representing ISKON
Sister BK Shamal, Brahma Kumari Mission
Giselle D’Souza, head, Peace Committee Saint Patrik Church
Dhammachari Gynanraja, member, Triratna Bauddha Mahasangha, representative of Sikh Gurdwara.
First Published: Sep 20, 2019 20:28 IST